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It's been almost two years since I wrote the message below, and since I was active on SparkPeople. I still believe them, probably stronger than ever, but I am a much stronger person mentally. What I did not realize back then, was that "today" really was the start of a new chapter of my life ... but as with all good stories, the heroine had to go through a dark time before she could emerge victorious. Around the time I left SparkPeople I contracted an illness. It was difficult for me to walk, much less exercise, for much of Fall 2009 and Spring 2010. During that time I got back up to 196 pounds, and it was also a very dark and isolating time socially and professionally. Summer & Fall 2010 was a time of mental and physical recovery, and of venturing back out into the world on many levels. I used that time to really deal with many issues and as a result I have "returned to the world" stronger than ever.

Now I am going through a personal renaissance. I started a new business that is gaining strength, my health gets better all the time and I am also losing weight in the process, and I am in a period of personal growth that I could have only dreamed about three years ago. It's pretty amazing.

I am DONE with worrying about things I cannot control.

I am DONE with hating myself for gaining sixty pounds in six years ... and more importantly I am DONE with the idea that it is "too hard" to reclaim my body for myself.

I am DONE with hiding myself, socially and professionally.

I am DONE with discounting my other skills and abilities simply because I am a "fat chick."

I am DONE with hiding, DONE with using food as an escape, and DONE with excuses for not being as fabulous as I can be EVERY DAY.

Most importantly, I am done with wishing and hoping and making vague goals for myself.

Starting TODAY I am a NEW WOMAN.

Starting TODAY I will have more fun and be more fabulous ... not after I lose five more pounds, not when someone says it is okay, not "someday" but TODAY.

Starting TODAY I decide what makes me happy, not what I think others expect or want me to enjoy.

TODAY is the beginning of a new chapter of my life.

My Definition of Persistence: When you fall down, you get back up and try again. When you make a mistake, you don't see it as a pattern of failure ... you see it as an opportunity to learn. When you feel like quitting, you remember why you are doing what you are doing and renew your commitment to reaching your goal.

Member Since: 5/27/2008

Fitness Minutes: 6,917

My Goals:
Continue on this great path of self-discovery and continue regaining my beauty inside & out.

My Program:
Walk whenever I can. Eat well. Be grateful for the opportunity to do both.

Personal Information:
I am 37 years old, I have a husband I love dearly, two dogs and no children. I am blessed with some great friends and to have survived some very dark times. I now know who I am and what I want from life.

Other Information:
"You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along' ... You must do the thing you think you cannot do." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Read More About FIREFLYJD - Profile Information moved here. (Updated May 14)

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